High five for Richardson Racing at Donington Park
The Richardson Racing team maintained its strong run of form in the Protyre Ginetta GT5 Challenge as the series headed to Donington Park for the latest rounds of the season.
The Donington weekend marked the first time this season that the team had fielded both of its GT5 cars, with karting star Blake Angliss making his series debut alongside team regular Josh Malin.
Buoyed by his fourth win of the season at Knockhill late last month, Josh qualified third quickest for the opening race of the weekend, with his second best time in the session ensuring that he would start race two from fourth spot.
Blake meanwhile would post the 13th quickest time on the grid for the opening two races of the weekend as he improved on the pace he had shown in pre-event testing - which marked his return to the car for the first time in six months.
The opening race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon would be affected by a multi-car accident that forced the safety car to be deployed, with Josh having made up a place to sit in second behind Gordie Mutch.
When the racing action resumed on lap four, Josh wasted little time in making a move on his rival for the lead and then saw off the challenge of both Mutch and Jonny Wilkinson to wrap up his fifth victory of the campaign.
Blake was lucky to escape being caught up in the opening lap drama having been forced to take avoiding action when cars clashed ahead of him on track. After the restart, he would make up a place from the limited laps available to take twelfth place overall and tenth in the Pro class on what was his first ever car race.
After a chaotic opening lap in the second race, Josh retained fourth place before battling his way into the podium places at the start of lap two.
Slipping behind James Taylor on lap three, Josh then piled the pressure on his rival, but despite setting his fastest lap on the final tour, was unable to find a way back ahead as he took the flag less than three tenths of a second off the podium.
Blake was also in the heart of the action early on as he slipped back to 14th on the opening lap before starting his climb back up the order. Quickly back up to his starting position, moved up into eleventh spot on lap five when he managed to clear the Am class car of Richard Tetlow and fellow Pro class runner Charlie Budd suffered a spin.
He would eventually cross the line in eleventh place, missing out on a maiden top ten by less than a second. However, Blake’s progress was shown by the fact that his fastest lap was some two seconds quicker than he had managed in the shortened race one.
From fourth on the grid for the final race of the weekend, Josh made an electric start to move up into second spot behind Mutch and would then spend the entire race chasing his rival on track; dropping the cars behind as he ended the weekend with a solid second place finish.
Blake’s solid debut weekend would come to a positive conclusion as he improved on his race two result with a top ten finish, having made up two spots on the very last lap.
Blake Angliss, #84 Ginetta G40 GT5, said:
"This weekend has been a massive learning curve for me and the goal was to go out on track, learn as much as possible and just enjoy myself. Driving out onto a circuit like Donington Park was a bit of a surreal experience compared to what I'm used to in karting, but I'm really pleased with how things have gone.
"In terms of the results, I managed to improve across the three races and to break into the top ten by the end of the weekend is great and where I hoped I would be. My first three races have given me a good platform to build on and I went well at Silverstone during testing earlier in the year, so hopefully I can make more good progress there next time out."
Josh Malin, #90 Ginetta G40 GT5, said:
"To get another win is great and we've been able to keep up the pressure in the race for the championship. We could have qualified on pole as I think the time was there, and I didn't get the best start in race one but was able to make up a place before the safety car came out.
"I managed to get a run on Gordie after the restart and made the move stick, and it's mega to secure a fifth win of the year. Race two was more of a battle and it was a shame to miss out on the podium but we ended the weekend with a good run in race three and I'm now looking forward to seeing what we can do at Silverstone next week."